Give all county students opportunity for scholarships

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By The Staff

I read with great interest the article, “Students receive GEAR-UP scholarships.” This program, according to the article, allows middle and high school students to earn as much as $2,000 toward college per semester until they graduate based on their grades, attendance, behavior and other factors.

The names of the students who most recently earned this money were published following the article. The schools they attend include A.R. Rucker, South Middle, Andrew Jackson High and Lancaster High schools. Since my family lives in the Buford area, I, of course, noticed that the Buford schools were not participants. Not because Buford kids would not want to participate, but the Buford schools were not allowed to participate.

I would like to congratulate all the students who received this award. This is a significant accomplishment and they, undoubtedly, deserve this money.

While I am so glad to see money coming into our school system used in this way, I would really like to say that I think it is wholly unfair that the students in the Buford community were excluded from participating.

I understand the selection of schools was based on the number of free lunches in these schools, but wouldn’t it be a better idea to let the students who excel earn the money, regardless of their lunch status?

My husband and I, Buford area residents, are both out of work right now and we have not applied for free lunches for our children. While I realize we could do that, we are trying to make ends meet without having to do so. But apparently, this has skewed our chances of saving ourselves thousands in college funds for our kids, each of whom would likely earn these fabulous awards as well. Somehow, this seems incredibly wrong.

There simply must be a better way to choose the allocation of funds that are meant to reward grades and behavior.

How about opening the program to the entire Lancaster County School District, not just specific schools within the district?

Let the kids who excel the most be rewarded, no matter which school they attend.

In these trying times, I doubt there is anyone who wouldn’t welcome a bit of help when it comes to college tuition. I know we would.

Karen Franse